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December 7, 2012
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News about teaching and education excellence

  Top Story 
  • Connected educators are the future of teacher PD, Duncan says
    The connected educator movement may be relatively new, but it has great potential to guide the future of professional development for teachers, Education Secretary Arne Duncan writes in this blog post. He also writes about the challenges faced, including the need for online professional learning to count toward professional development and for there to be greater support for online social learning and problem solving among teachers. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

A must-have book for primary teachers just got better. In the revised edition of Reading with Meaning, Debbie Miller adds new planning and assessment tools, updated "go-to" children's book titles, and FAQs. Follow Debbie through an entire school year as she models the kind of decision-making increasingly demanded by new standards. Preview the entire book!
  Focus on Practice 
  • NBCT transforms PE instruction in N.C. district
    A middle-school physical-education teacher in North Carolina is working to transform his district's PE curriculum. National Board Certified Teacher Andrew Cambruzzi teaches students about the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits -- helping them to develop good habits early. He also assigns homework to students, such as taking a walk with their parents or preparing a healthy meal at home. "I understand the value of the core classes," he said, "but a healthy body equals a healthy mind." The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers help students make connections to war history
    History teachers at a Michigan high school are working to help students make connections to a day that only some of their grandparents were alive to experience -- Pearl Harbor. Eventually, teachers say, students will have the same problem with the Sept. 11 attacks. A move to include more primary-source documents in history lessons is under way; teachers say this could help students get a better understanding of historic events. Battle Creek Enquirer (Mich.) (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers remember Pearl Harbor Day in lessons: While the attack at Pearl Harbor is part of the official curriculum in only two high-school courses in an Ohio district, some teachers said they planned to address the importance of the attack in other courses. Sharon Verhoff, who teaches high-school government and history classes, said her approach includes asking students to go more in-depth in learning about the attack, discussing conspiracy theories and comparing it to the Sept. 11 attacks. Chillicothe Gazette (Ohio) (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Schools Today 
  • Classroom innovations bring honors to teachers
    Three schools in the U.S. were recognized this week for instructional innovation during the Global Forum Educator Awards. The honorees were among 21 international winners and included a middle-school teacher who had his students develop a television show to learn about Egypt, a pair of educators who invited students to teach members of the local business community about sustainability, and a school for students who are blind that uses videoconferencing technology to allow a remote math instructor to teach her students. T.H.E. Journal (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 5 strategies to improve STEM education
    Students need to explore to learn rather than memorize facts to pass a test if more of them are to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, educator Lisa Nielsen writes in this blog post. Nielsen offers five ideas for improving STEM instruction in school, including opportunities for students to learn from STEM professionals. "Memorizing algorithms or the periodic chart does not help most learners acquire the foundation necessary for success in STEM-related fields," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Developing Leaders 
  • Facilitation tools for teacher teams
    Transformational leadership coach Elena Aguilar offers three steps that she and coaches she works with use to facilitate and guide teams of teachers and administrators. For example, Aguilar writes, facilitators need to structure meetings to counter any power dynamics that would make someone less likely to participate. "We want to ensure that all voices will be heard and will have equal access to decision-making and input," Aguilar writes. Aguilar's blog (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy News 
  • Ohio debates changes to school-rating system
    Lawmakers in Ohio are working out the details of a new school-grading system that would give schools and districts letter grades based on their performance. An Ohio State Senate vote on the new system, approved last week by the state House, is expected to take place next week after lawmakers debate what factors will be considered in the grades and when they would take effect. (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Living the Questions shows you how to extend your everyday inquiry and solve pressing problems through teacher research projects. A step-by-step guide to design and implementation, the book includes extensive examples with teacher narratives. Preview a chapter and download the Study Guide!

Back to Learning tackles challenging issues such as bullying, appropriate use of technology, and responding to external pressures without compromising what's best for your students. Thought-provoking and research-based, it will help you examine your teaching practice across the board. Browse the entire book online!

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You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it."
--Charles Buxton,
British brewer, philanthropist, writer and legislator

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